In this paper we show that dual-class shares can be an answer to agency conflicts rather than a result of agency conflicts. When a firm issues voting shares to raise funds, an incumbent manager?s control rights are diluted. This increases the risk that an incumbent could lose control of the firm and therefore, could lose the associated benefits of control.
Thus, the incumbent may forgo positive NPV investments in an effort to maximize his expected wealth. Non-voting shares allow a firm to raise funds without diluting manager?s control rights; hence, it can alleviate the underinvestment problem. But non-voting shares facilitate entrenchment and therefore, reduces value-enhancing takeover activities. Also, non-voting shares dilute dividends per share. We obtain conditions under which the benefit of using non-voting shares, that is, higher firm value due to higher investment outweighs the entrenchment and dividend dilution costs. Others have shown that deviations from ?one share-one vote? can be optimal, but our study is the first to integrate the dualclass decision into the rich body of research on capital structure and underinvestment.
This paper studies how managers react to shareholder empowerment vis-à-vis governance provisions. We show that a staggered legislative change that increases noncompliance costs in the implementation of shareholder-initiated majority voting...Read more
Shareholder activism by hedge funds has taken hold in Germany in spite of large ownership concentration. This essay uses the example of Stada Arzneimittel AG to highlight features of activism, German style. It goes on to discuss the legal issues...Read more
In order to favor shareholder investment over a longer time horizon, Italy introduced loyalty shares in late 2014, which allow double voting rights after a two-year continuous holding period. Italian listed firms which adopted loyalty shares (...Read more
Companies with a dual-class structure have increasingly been involved in high-profile battles over the reallocation of control rights. Google, for instance, sought to entrench its founders’ control over the corporation by recapitalizing from a...Read more